At Nyman Libson Paul, we’re very proud of our association with the Bond films – we’ve produced the accounts for every film since the first one, Dr No in 1962. As it’s the 50th anniversary of the Bond movie this year, we thought it would be a bit of fun to look back at the Bond cars and estimate the spy’s theoretical tax bill for his company car.
This is what we discovered. Of course, the Treasury would have to show that 007 wasn’t just using the Bond car for his missions and that he made personal use of it before they could send a demand. Do you think Bond should be worried? Or is he simply too suave to fret about details like company car tax?
While fans might have gone all misty-eyed at the nostalgic choice of car in the latest Bond film, the spy himself should be keeping a Goldeneye on his tax planning.
007 star Daniel Craig drives a Bond classic in Skyfall, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 first seen in Goldfinger with Sean Connery behind the wheel.
Two years ago, the Goldfinger DB5 was sold at auction to a collector for £2.6m. With a price tag like that, if his colleagues at the Treasury discover Bond has been using the car for anything but his missions, he could be landed with a tax bill for £416,000.
In fact, according to our research, far from ‘Skyfalling’, Bond’s company car tax bill has skyrocketed over the years.
Our tax experts looked at the historic tax arrangements for the personal use of a company car in order to estimate 007’s tax liability for every Bond car.
In 1977, when a tax on company cars was first introduced and Roger Moore was purring around in a Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond would have stumped up just £315.
By the time Daniel Craig climbed behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DBS for Quantum of Solace in 2008, the bill had soared to £11,200.
In Skyfall, assuming the car was provided to him by his employers at MI6, under rules governing tax on classic cars, the company car benefit would be £832,000.
As a 50 per cent higher rate taxpayer, the secret agent would therefore be liable for £416,000 tax bill if the Treasury can prove he makes personal use of the car.
Dave Morrison, the tax partner who led the research, comments: “In the latest film, it’s not clear from the plot if Bond now owns the DB5 or it is a company car.
“If it is a company car, Bond has a good case for arguing that he only uses it for work and would therefore not have to pay any tax on it as there would be no personal benefit.
“If the Treasury discover he has been taking it home at night or using it to go shopping or even for entertaining Bond girls, he could be in hot water.
“Of course, MI6 might have a special arrangement with the Treasury with regard to the perks received by its spies – but that would be classified information!”